Jesus’ devastating judgment on the Sadducees was that they were off the track because they didn’t know the scriptures nor the power of God (Mark 12:24). They prided themselves in their detailed knowledge of the law. They were part of the religious elite of the day – leaders and teachers. And yet they were not only on the wrong track themselves, but leading others astray. It’s a terrible indictment. Their narrow legalistic framework ultimately leads them so far off the track that they condemn the author of life and of Scripture to death.
It shows the importance of knowing and understanding the big salvation picture of God’s word. The Sadducees only acknowledged the first 5 books of the Old Testament. They ignored God’s revelation through the history, wisdom and the prophets. When we do that, it’s so easy to resort to legalism.
But worse still, they didn’t know the power of God. His power to reveal himself, to fulfil his promises, to change people as they responded to his love and power. Theirs was a dry, legalistic, powerless, and ultimately wrong religion that rejects the promised Messiah.
It’s a great thing for us to know the scriptures, and we ought to always be digging deeper into God’s word. But we need to know the power of God. His power to fulfil his wonderful promises in his word and his power to make us more like Jesus as we respond to his revelation. Paul tells us that this is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. And it’s that power that gives us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:18-23). The power of God himself, which will surely achieve his purposes. May he keep filling us with his knowledge and power.